43 Facts About Aaron Swartz


Aaron Hillel Swartz was an American computer programmer, entrepreneur, writer, political organizer, and Internet hacktivist.


Aaron Swartz was involved in the development of the social news aggregation website Reddit until he departed from the company in 2007.


Aaron Swartz is often credited as a martyr and a prodigy, and his work focused on civic awareness and activism.


Aaron Swartz founded the online group Demand Progress, known for its campaign against the Stop Online Piracy Act.


On January 6,2011, Aaron Swartz was arrested by Massachusetts Institute of Technology police on state breaking-and-entering charges, after connecting a computer to the MIT network in an unmarked and unlocked closet, and setting it to download academic journal articles systematically from JSTOR using a guest user account issued to him by MIT.


Aaron Swartz declined a plea bargain under which he would have served six months in federal prison.


Two days after the prosecution rejected a counter-offer by Aaron Swartz, he was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment.


In 2013, Aaron Swartz was inducted posthumously into the Internet Hall of Fame.


Aaron Swartz was born in Highland Park, 25 miles north of Chicago, into a Jewish family.


Aaron Swartz was the eldest child of Susan and Robert Swartz and brother to Noah and Ben Swartz.


Aaron Swartz's father founded the software firm Mark Williams Company.


At an early age, Aaron Swartz immersed himself in the study of computers, programming, the Internet, and Internet culture.


Aaron Swartz attended North Shore Country Day School, a small private school near Chicago, until ninth grade, when he left high school and enrolled in courses at Lake Forest College.


Aaron Swartz moved with his company to San Francisco to continue to work on Reddit for Wired.


Aaron Swartz found corporate office life uncongenial and ultimately was asked to resign from the company.


At a 2013 memorial for Aaron Swartz, Malamud recalled their work with PACER.


The New York Times similarly reported Aaron Swartz had downloaded "an estimated 20 percent of the entire database".


In 2009, wanting to learn about effective activism, Aaron Swartz helped launch the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.


In 2010, Aaron Swartz co-founded Demand Progress, a political advocacy group that organizes people online to "take action by contacting Congress and other leaders, funding pressure tactics, and spreading the word" about civil liberties, government reform, and other issues.


Aaron Swartz was involved in the campaign to prevent passage of the Stop Online Piracy Act, which sought to combat Internet copyright violations but was criticized on the basis that it would make it easier for the US government to shut down web sites accused of violating copyright and would place intolerable burdens on Internet providers.


Aaron Swartz spoke on the topic at an event organized by ThoughtWorks.


In 2006, Aaron Swartz wrote an analysis of how Wikipedia articles are written, and concluded that the bulk of its content came from tens of thousands of occasional contributors, or "outsiders," each of whom made few other contributions to the site, while a core group of 500 to 1,000 regular editors tended to correct spelling and other formatting errors.


Aaron Swartz came to his conclusions by counting the number of characters editors added to particular articles, while Wales counted the total number of edits.


In January 2013 shortly after he died, WikiLeaks said that Aaron Swartz had helped WikiLeaks and talked to Julian Assange in 2010 and 2011.


The recording was stopped once Aaron Swartz was identified; but rather than pursue a civil lawsuit against him, JSTOR settled with him in June 2011 where he surrendered the downloaded data.


On November 17,2011, Aaron Swartz was indicted by a Middlesex County Superior Court grand jury on state charges of breaking and entering with intent, grand larceny, and unauthorized access to a computer network.


On December 4,2013, due to a Freedom of Information Act suit by the investigations editor of Wired magazine, several documents related to the case were released by the Secret Service, including a video of Aaron Swartz entering the MIT network closet.


Aaron Swartz was distressed, she said, because two of his friends had just been subpoenaed and because he no longer believed that MIT would try to stop the prosecution.


Aaron Swartz's family recommended GiveWell for donations in his memory, an organization that Aaron Swartz admired, had collaborated with and was the sole beneficiary of his will.


Aaron Swartz's attorneys requested that all pretrial discovery documents be made public, a move which MIT opposed.


Aaron Swartz allies have criticized MIT for its opposition to releasing the evidence without redactions.


The panel reported that MIT had not supported charges against Aaron Swartz and cleared the institution of wrongdoing.


However, according to Harari, Aaron Swartz's stance did not illustrate the belief in the freedom of persons or speech but stemmed from the increasing belief among the young generation that above anything else, information should be free.


Aaron Swartz's legacy has been reported as strengthening the open access to scholarship movement.


In Illinois, his home state, Aaron Swartz's influence led state university faculties to adopt policies in favor of open access.


On January 13,2013, members of Anonymous hacked two websites on the MIT domain, replacing them with tributes to Aaron Swartz that called on members of the Internet community to use his death as a rallying point for the open access movement.


Preliminary topics worked on at the 2013 Aaron Swartz Hackathon were privacy and software tools, transparency, activism, access, legal fixes and a low-cost book scanner.


In January 2014, Lawrence Lessig led a walk across New Hampshire in honor of Aaron Swartz, rallying for campaign finance reform.


Aaron Swartz' story has exposed the topic of open access to scientific publications to wider audiences.


In 2002, Aaron Swartz had stated that when he died, he wanted all the contents of his hard drives made publicly available.


Congressional staffers left this briefing believing that prosecutors thought Aaron Swartz had to be convicted of a felony carrying at least a short prison sentence in order to justify having filed the case against him in the first place.


Aaron Swartz has been featured in various works of art and has posthumously received dedications from numerous artists.


Congressman Grayson, Lawrence Lessig, and Free Press CEO Craig Aaron spoke about Swartz and his fight on behalf of a free and open Internet at the event.